Zolkefli and two other competitors were initially allowed to participate in the event because “they may have had a logical reason for being late,” said International Paralympic Committee (IPC) spokesman Craig Spence.
“Therefore, we allowed them to compete and look at the facts of the matter afterward,” Spence added.
As a result, Zolkefli’s name was trending on Twitter, with some users lamenting his loss.
Others directed their anger at Ukraine’s Maksym Koval, who had won silver but was awarded gold after Zolkefli’s disqualification. Spence described the comments as “very abusive.”
“Ridiculous in my view. I mean, yes you can be unhappy with the decision but what I now see is comments on all our social media posts which have nothing to do with the men’s shot put F20 event,” Spence said.
“Rules are rules, the decision was taken, and it wasn’t the Ukrainian’s fault. The Malaysian was late to the call room,” Spence added. “Really disappointing that such abuse happens on social media.”
Koval’s Ukrainian teammate Oleksandr Yarovyi clinched silver, while Greece’s Efstratios Nikolaidis claimed bronze.